SEBRING - When it comes to keeping people safe in Highlands County, one of the biggest challenges each year for the Highlands County Sheriff's Office is the annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
But Maj. David Paeplow said the office will handle security at the race as it has done for years, helping to make sure no major incidents mar the event.
Paeplow said the security will be the same this year. He didn't want to release information on the number of deputies, but said the sheriff's office will have "a sufficient force of people out there," to deal with problems.
Obviously, he said, the presence will increase on Friday and Saturday, the day of the race, as the activity increases at the raceway.
As for the possibility of larger threats because the event draws thousands of people, Paeplow said the sheriff's office receives advice from state and federal law enforcement-related agencies.
Paeplow said the raceway pays for the security.
Besides traffic control, deputies deal with mostly minor incidents. Typically, they may make arrests for disorderly conduct, which usually results from alcohol use, he said.
Less frequently, he said, they arrest people for having drugs or for theft, he added.
They've also had incidents in which people were injured. Some of those cases involved people falling off golf carts, Paeplow said.